Beginning of the Year Phonics: "Star Names" is a program that Chets Creek teachers brought back after working with Lucy Calkins at Teachers' College in New York City. Patricia Cunningham also about a similar program in Month-by-Month Phonics for Kindergarten which uses the names of the children in the classroom to teach basic phonics in the beginning of kindergarten.

About the Star Names program:

Letters and Sounds
  • Bembo's Zoo is a video that can be shown to students as an animal word that begins with each letter of the alphabet morphs into the animal. This would be cute to use on your blog asking the families to check out all the letters of the alphabet and then leave a comment about their favorite.
  • a /a/ apple... that could be used early in the year as a warm up/review.
  • This isnot a video to show to the class but an example of a video to do with the class where the children make each of the letters of the alphabet.
  • Really cute video of sequence of alphabet
  • ABC Centers for early in the year


Short vowel word families


Blends & Digraphs


Long vowels with silent e

Letter Combinations
  • Letter Combination Poem

Long a: ai-ay